Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes that the Dallas Mavericks should consider pursuing Portland Trail Blazers forward/center J.J. Hickson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
He came into the game tied for third in the league in double-doubles with 26. And he has an active style that is reminiscent of another J.J. who used to prowl AAC, little J.J. Barea.
Hickson is bigger and stronger than Barea, but he plays the same way.
"He's an energetic guy," Mavericks' coach Rick Carlisle said. "He goes hard. He's a very good athlete, high-level athlete, plays above the rim and has improved his shooting. He just has a knack for finding places on the court where he can hurt you. He's gotten better and better, and if you think about it, that's a pretty good waiver pickup."
Sounds like the kind of free-agent target that would make sense this summer.
Dallas is in a position to have loads of cap space this summer.
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com has more from Hickson in Dallas last night.
"I'd be lying if I wasn't looking forward to [free agency], but that's something I'll get more excited about when that period hits," Hickson said. "It's something that me and my agent will talk about, but right now I'm just worried about playing basketball and trying to make these playoffs."
"Sometimes we get too concerned in pigeon-holing players in what he is or what he isn't," Stotts said. "I think [Hickson] is a frontline player, whether you want to say he's a 4 or a 5, he's an effective frontline player. He can score, he can run, he can rebound and I'm a little reluctant to pigeon-hole him as he's this or that."
Even if Hickson does feel pigeon-holed as a pseudo-center.
"Yeah, I do," Hickson said, frankly. "But like I say, that's something I sacrifice for the team. The NBA world knows what my true position is and they know I'm sacrificing for my team and I think that helps us even more knowing that I'm willing to play the 5 to help us get wins."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter